Floridata Article

Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon)

Spring Azure
Habitat: Open woodland, forest edges and adjacent shrubby areas Garden Abundance: Occasional Wingspan: 0.75 to 1.25in Larval Host Plants: Flowers of many plants including flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), gray dogwood (C. racemosa), New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americana), sumacs (Rhus spp.), meadowsweets (Spiraea spp.), viburnums (Viburnum spp.), blueberries (Vaccinium spp.)and various hollies (Ilex spp.) Favorite Adult Nectar Sources: Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium fistulosum), sweet white clover (Melilotus alba), gray dogwood and black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Aptly named, the spring azure is often one of the first butterflies encountered when the first warm weather of spring arrives. Its prompt appearance alongside the early season blooms of many trees and shrubs is no mere coincidence. The larvae of the spring azure feed on the buds and blossoms of many different kinds of flowering plants. Adults are often seen high up around the buds of flowering trees. They have a slow, fluttering flight.

Widespread throughout most of the U. S., the spring azure frequents woodland edges, swamps, meadows and forest clearings. They visit flowers often. Somewhat unusual among most blues, the spring azure produces two different seasonal forms. Adults of the first brood, appearing in early spring, are darker and more heavily marked than the second and third generation summer forms.

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